The book title on the right that’s in funky letters is really called “A Dog’s Heart” by Mikhail Bulgakov, a 1925 satire on the “new Soviet man,” or that’s what Wikipedia says. With a dictionary, I could probably get through it in a year probably, but no, I’m going to try something different now, something that’s all the rage nowadays amongst the language learning elite: what you do is, you read the book in your native language — that would be English for me, barely — while listening to the audio book in the language you eventually want to read it in. That would be Russian for me.
So I have all my materials, including CDs of not just this title, but The Master and Margerita, which is supposed to be quite good. I have not yet started this linguistical transformation yet, because I have just a few more pages left of The Da Vinci Code, which has the most contrived dialogues I’ve ever read in my whole life, and yet I cannot put it down, and I’m converting to paganism, if you want to know.
Anyway, I just wrote the book title in Russian over there on the right so I look way smarter than I am, but if you want to know how to say it, to impress your friends, you’d say Sobachie Sertstie. More or less.
Apparently, this system of reading in one language, listening in the other really works, according to experts in “the know.” The hitch is that maybe you don’t know it works at first, because at first it sounds like crazy gobblety gook. But then, apparently, after hours and hours of reading and listening, reading and listening, your brain connects the pairs, so «У-у-у-у-у-гу-у-у-гуу! О, гланьте на меня, я погибаю» really does sound ike, “Ooooooh! Look at me, I’m dying!”
My problem is that I can’t find a context to use a sentence like this in my every day life. That’s where I take issue with this language learning methodology. When am I going to walk into a café, step up to the counter, and say, “Look at me! I’m dying!” So I’m hoping after a few more pages, I’ll find more useful phrases.
So I am very flattered to have received a few requests for race reports. I am very touched that rather than watch me race, people would rather read the report. Which reminds me of an exchange that occurred not that long ago, just when I was going to tell a friend the true story of how I acquired a certain pair of cycling tights, which I thought was very interesting. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Oh, just put it in your blog,” before riding off over the horizon.
At first, I felt slighted, but then I realized that perhaps possessing and updating a blog can streamline conversations into upmost efficiency. Imagine this hypothetical exchange:
“Hi, Katie, how are you doing?”
“Well, that’s all in my blog.”
Perfect. We can dispense with these frivoulous niceties and get straight to the meat of the matter. Except that no one ever even asks me how I’m doing anymore. Maybe they’re all reading my blog.
Back to these race reports. The reason why you don’t see any here is because I haven’t raced this year yet, but I will, very soon. As I’ve said earlier, I have a new coach, Minto Proudfoot, and you won’t find him anywhere because this is a top secret name, because I do not want to intimidate my competitors. We’ve been working a lot on skill development. Minto believes in enhancing our strengths, which would be, in my case, blocking. So that’s all I want to say at this time, lest I get banned before I even show up. See you at the races!